4:22pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Around the Nation

Shootings Test Virginia Tech's Emergency Plan

Virginia Tech put a multitiered emergency response plan into effect Thursday after a gunman apparently shot and killed two people on campus, a university spokesman said as investigators tried to piece together the incident.

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4:18pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

EPA Report Links Fracking To Water Pollution

In a draft report (pdf) released today, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what many residents of Pavilion, Wyoming have been complaining about for some time now: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is responsible for polluting the area's drinking water.

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4:17pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Police Launch New Website

Lexington Police are hoping to get more tips on crimes and suspects with a new website. The website is called IDThisPerson.com. It is used by law enforcement agencies around the nation to identify suspects or persons of interest related to criminal activity.

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4:13pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Music News

A Giant Theremin Is Watching You Down Under

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

The Giant Theremin emits not only tones but also some prerecorded musical sounds.
Courtesy of the artist

3:53pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Europe

Kremlin Cracks Down, Arrests Prominent Critic

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

Lawyer and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, left, is taken to court in Moscow on Tuesday. Navalny was detained Monday along with 300 protesters who rallied against what they called vote rigging during Sunday's parliamentary election.
Mikhail Metzel AP

Alexei Navalny knows how to work a crowd.

And after Sunday's parliamentary election, which many observers claimed were littered with violations, the demonstrators in Moscow were on his side.

"What's the party called?" he shouted, referring to the ruling United Russia party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"The party of crooks and thieves," the crowd responded, using the phrase that Navalny coined and that has caught on like wildfire.

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3:23pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Environment

At Climate Talks, Frustration And Interruptions

The U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern delivers a speech on Dec. 8 in Durban, South Africa, during the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The climate talks entered their second week entangled in a thick mesh of issues with no guarantee that negotiators and their ministers will be able to sort them out.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

United Nations climate talks, like many negotiations, are a blend of dead seriousness and theater. Today at the talks in Durban, South Africa, an American college student provided a moment of theater by shouting out a short, unauthorized speech during the main session of the talks. Her interruption encapsulated frustration with the pace of the talks in general, and the United States' role in particular.

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3:15pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Russia's President: Alleged Vote Fraud Will Be Investigated

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 3:18 pm

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stands in front of a giant picture of Tsar Michael of Russia.
Michal Cizek AFP/Getty Images

Reacting to widespread protests, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said alleged vote fraud of parliamentary elections will be investigated.

The AP reports:

Medvedev told reporters Thursday — after meeting Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus — that the law may have been violated during Sunday's vote, because "our electoral law is not ideal."

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3:12pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Around the Nation

Black Atlantans Struggle To Stay In The Middle Class

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 1:28 pm

Foster Smith (left) and his best friend, Mark Ballard (right), met when they were 12 years old. After losing his job, and his ability to make rent, Smith moved into a room in Ballard's College Park, Ga., home.
Courtesy of Foster Smith

There's no question that the Great Recession has meant hard times all around, but from 2007 to 2009, it sent black America into an economic tailspin.

According to the Pew Research Center, the median net worth — that's assets minus debts — of black households decreased by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2009.

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3:00pm

Thu December 8, 2011
NPR Story

Romney Fires Back At Gingrich

The gloves are off in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich's surge to the front of the pack appears to have more staying power than any of the other challengers to Mitt Romney's standing as party favorite. And so, team Romney is firing back, for the first time, at a candidate other than President Obama.

2:57pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

AP: Black Site Where CIA Held Al-Qaida Operatives Was In Plain View

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 2:59 pm

An exterior view of the Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, which stores confidential information and ensures only authorised people gain access to it, taken in Bucharest on December 8.
AFP/Getty Images

That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":

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